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  • Holding the Upright Bass

    Holding the Upright Bass

    There are a plethora of ideas on how one should hold the double bass and new variants seem to surface every day. Some stance decisions will be made based on specific performance situations, but most will reflect someone’s pedagogical background (i.e. who their teachers were) and personal preference. For example, it is unlikely you will... »

  • Custom Shop: Birdsong Guitars

    Custom Shop: Birdsong Guitars

    Founded in 2004, Birdsong Guitars is a company with a distinct reputation for excellent short-scale basses – one that founder Scott Beckwith prides himself on. After getting his start building in the late ’90s, Beckwith set up shop in Texas where he has been honing his craft with the aid of his wife and other... »

  • Insuring Your Gear

    Insuring Your Gear

    Q: I recently had a stolen instrument scare. It got me wondering, what do you and other working professionals do? With all your traveling, I’m sure it’s a small worry in the back of your mind. What do you use to ensure the safety of your gear? Do you have instrument specific insurance or some... »

  • Mod Shop: Bridge Replacement

    Mod Shop: Bridge Replacement

    Upgrading the Lab Rat: Bridge Replacement I have a bass I call the Lab Rat. It’s a really cheap Jaguar knock off I bought to experiment with some ideas I’d been kicking around. I’ve upgraded all the electronics already, and we’ll briefly go over some of that in future articles. I’m on to the hardware... »

  • Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    In case you missed it, check out part 1 of this series. Since blues is an ideal genre for jamming and improvising, your knowledge of certain terms and feels can dramatically boost your value as a player. Whether you’re doing a blues gig, going to blues jam at a local club, or getting together with... »

  • Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?

    Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?

    Q: I have a question regarding the cabinet sizes. I see a lot of players lugging around some real beasts. I tend to use my DI for most medium to larger gigs and sometimes just go through the PA. I can’t see a need for a monster rig and wonder why so many bassist are... »

  • Working with Drones – Introduction: Improving Intonation

    Working with Drones – Introduction: Improving Intonation

    One of the best ways I know to increase one’s intonational precision is to play against a held drone note. It is excellent not only for left hand finger spacing, shifting, but also for improving one’s aural pitch discrimination. You can create your own drone note using a looper, midi program, etc. or your metronome... »

  • Custom Shop: May Custom Basses

    Custom Shop: May Custom Basses

    Shawn May of May Custom Basses started playing as a teen and got interested in building after a chance visit to the local library. Inspired by the distinguished luthiers who came before him, he eventually turned his interests into a business. Intrigued with exotic and “intense” looking woods, May focuses on creating one-of-a-kind instruments for... »

  • Competitive Nature

    Competitive Nature

    Q: I am a very young bassist who plays in a band with some other young musicians. I’m having an issue with respect and competitiveness. Most of my bandmates say I’m the best musician among them. Our guitarist assumes he’s the best musician in the band, though his knowledge of theory isn’t there. How do... »

  • How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    Ok, I admit it; I’m not the person that you think of when you envision a “blues bass player.” I’m exactly five feet and one quarter of an inch tall, I’m a 24-year-old girl from a suburban neighborhood in Philadelphia, and, as many people point out, the bass is bigger than I am. I don’t... »